Bill Doggett

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Bill Doggett
Bill Doggett.jpg
Bill Doggett in 1980
Background information
Birth name William Ballard Doggett
Born (1916-02-16)February 16, 1916
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died November 13, 1996(1996-11-13) (aged 80)
New York, United States
Genres Jazz, rhythm and blues
Occupation(s) Pianist, organist
Instruments Piano, electric organ
Years active 1930s–1996
Labels King Records

Bill Doggett (February 16, 1916 – November 13, 1996)[1] was an American jazz and rhythm and blues pianist and organist. He is best known for his compositions "Honky Tonk" and "Hippy Dippy", and variously working with the Ink Spots, Johnny Otis, Wynonie Harris, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Jordan.[1]

Biography[edit]

William Ballard Doggett was born in Philadelphia.[1] His mother, a church pianist, introduced him to music when he was nine years old. By the time he was fifteen, he had joined a Philadelphia area combo, playing local theaters and clubs while attending high school.

Doggett later sold his band to Lucky Millinder, and worked during the 1930s and early 1940s for Millinder, Frank Fairfax and arranger Jimmy Mundy. In 1942 he was hired as the Ink Spots' pianist and arranger.

Toward the end of 1947, he replaced Wild Bill Davis as the pianist for Louis Jordan's Tympany Five. It was in Jordan's group that he first achieved success playing the Hammond organ. In 1950 he is reputed to have written one of Jordan's biggest hits, "Saturday Night Fish Fry", for which Jordan claimed the writing credit.

In 1951, Doggett organized his own trio and began recording for King Records. His best known recording is "Honky Tonk", a rhythm and blues hit of 1956 which sold four million copies (reaching No. 1 R&B and No. 2 Pop), and which he co-wrote with Billy Butler.[2] The track topped the US Billboard R&B chart for over two months.[3] He won the Cash Box award for best rhythm and blues performer in 1957, 1958, and 1959. He also arranged for many bandleaders and performers, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and Lionel Hampton.

As a jazz player Doggett started in swing music and later played soul jazz. His bands included saxophonists Red Holloway, Clifford Scott, Percy France, David "Bubba" Brooks, Clifford Davis, and Floyd "Candy" Johnson; guitarists Floyd Smith, Billy Butler, Sam Lackey and Pete Mayes; and singers Edwin Starr, Toni Williams and Betty Saint-Clair. His biggest hits, "Honky Tonk" (the Part 2 side of the record) and "Slow Walk" featured saxophonist Clifford Scott.

He continued to play and arrange until he died, aged 80, of a heart attack in New York.[1]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions Album
US US R&B
1945 "Be-Baba-Leba"
b/w "Every Now and Then"
Both sides feature vocalist Helen Humes
3 Non-album tracks
"He May Be Your Man"
b/w "Blue Prelude"
Both sides feature vocalist Helen Humes
1953 "Moondust" / 18 Moon Dust
"Early Bird" 21 Hot Doggett
"No More In Life" (Vocals by Mildred Anderson)
b/w "Real Gone Mambo" (from The Many Moods Of Bill Doggett)
20 Non-album track
"Eventide"
b/w "And The Angels Sing" (from The Doggett Beat For Happy Feet)
Moon Dust
"Christmas Song"
b/w "Winter Wonderland"
12 Songs Of Christmas
1954 "It's A Dream"
b/w "The Song Is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On)" (from Dance Awhile With Doggett)
Moon Dust
"There's No You"
b/w "Easy" (from The Doggett Beat For Happy Feet)
"Sweet Lorraine"
b/w "Tailor Made" (from Dance Awhile With Doggett)
Dame Dreaming
"High Heels"
b/w "Sweet Slumber" (from Moon Dust)
15 Hot Doggett
"Honey"
b/w "The Nearness Of You" (from Moon Dust)
The Doggett Beat For Happy Feet
"Gumbo"
b/w "Tara's Theme" (from Moon Dust)
Hot Doggett
1955 "My Reverie"
b/w "King Bee" (from The Doggett Beat For Happy Feet)
Moon Dust
"I'll Be Around"
b/w "Wild Oats" (from Hot Doggett)
"Oof!"
b/w "Street Scene" (from Moon Dust)
Hot Doggett
"Quaker City"
b/w "True Blue"
"Shove Off"
b/w "You Don't Know What Love Is" (from Moon Dust)
"Honey Boy"
b/w "Misty Moon" (from Dance Awhile With Doggett)
1956 "In A Sentimental Mood"
b/w "Who's Who" (from Hot Doggett)
Candle Glow
"Squashy"
b/w "We Found Love" (from Candle Glow)
Hot Doggett
"Mean To Me"
b/w "The Bo-Do Rock"
Both sides with Earl Bostic
Non-album tracks
"What A Difference A Day Made"
b/w "Stella By Starlight" (from Candle Glow)
The Doggett Beat For Happy Feet
"Honky Tonk" -- Parts 1 & 2 2 1 Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk
"Bubbins Rock"
b/w "Indiana"
Both sides with Earl Bostic
Non-album tracks
"Slow Walk"
b/w "Hand In Hand" (from Candle Glow)
26 4 Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk
"Honky Tonk" (Vocals by Tommy Brown)
b/w "Peacock Alley" (from Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk)
The Many Moods Of Bill Doggett
1957 "Ram-Bunk-Shush"
b/w "Blue Largo" (from The Many Moods Of Bill Doggett)
67 10 The Doggett Beat For Happy Feet
"Chloe"
b/w "Number Three" (from Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk)
"Ding Dong"
b/w "Cling To Me" (from Candle Glow)
"Shindig"
b/w "Hammer Head"
"Soft"
b/w "Hot Ginger"
35 11
"Leaps and Bounds" -- Part 1
b/w Part 2
13 Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk
1958 "Hippy Dippy"
b/w "Flying Home" (from Dance Awhile With Doggett)
Hold It
"Boo-Da-Ba"
b/w "Pimento"
"Blues For Handy"
b/w "How Could You" (from Dance Awhile With Doggett)
"Blip Blop"
b/w "Tanya"
82 11
"Hold It"
b/w "Birdie"
92 3
"Rainbow Riot" -- Part 1
b/w Part 2
15
1959 "Monster Party"
b/w "Scott's Bluff"
27 High and Wide
"Ocean Liner"
b/w "The Madison"
On Tour
"After Hours"
b/w "Big City Drag"
Big City Dance Party
"Yocky Dock" -- Part 1
b/w Part 2
30 On Tour
"Goofy Organ"
b/w "Zee" (from On Tour)
Back Again With More Bill Doggett
"Smokie" -- Part 2
b/w "Evening Dreams" (from On Tour)
95
1960 "Raw Turkey"
b/w "Back Woods" (Non-album track)
On Tour
"Smoochie"
"Big Boy" (from Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk)
Dance Awhile With Doggett
"The Slush"
b/w "Buttered Popcorn"
Back Again With More Bill Doggett
"Trav'lin Light"
b/w "A Lover's Dream" (from The Many Moods Of Bill Doggett)
For Reminiscent Lovers, Romantic Songs
"Slidin'"
b/w "Afternoon Jump" (from Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk)
Back Again With More Bill Doggett
"Earl's Dog" (With Earl Bostic)
B-side by Earl Bostic: "Special Delivery Stomp"
Non-album tracks
"(Let's Do) The Hully Gully Twist"
b/w "Jackrabbit"
66 3,046 People Danced 'Til 4 AM
1961 "Honky Tonk" -- Part 2
b/w "Floyd's Guitar Blues" (from Big City Dance Party)
57 21 Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk
"Let's Do The Continental"
b/w "Pony Walk"
The Band With The Beat
"You Can't Sit Down" -- Part 1
b/w Part 2
3,046 People Danced 'Til 4 AM
"The Doodle"
b/w "Bugle Nose"
Back Again With More Bill Doggett
"High and Wide"
b/w "In The Wee Hours"
High and Wide
1962 "The Doodle Twist"
b/w "Gene's Dream"
Non-album tracks
"Lady's Choice"
b/w "Buster"
Oops! The Swinging Sounds Of Bill Doggett and His Combo
"George Washington Twist"
b/w "Eleven O'clock Twist"
The Many Moods Of Bill Doggett
"Moondust"
b/w "Teardrops" (from Candle Glow)
Moon Dust
"Oops"
b/w "Choo Choo"
Oops! The Swinging Sounds Of Bill Doggett and His Combo
"For All We Know"
b/w "Hometown Shout" (from On Tour)
For Reminiscent Lovers, Romantic Songs
1963 "Soda Pop"
b/w "Ham Fat"
Prelude To The Blues
"Honky Tonk Bossa Nova" -- Part 2
b/w "Ocean Liner Bossa Nova"
American Songs In Bossa Nova Style
"Down Home Bossa Nova"
b/w "Si-Si-Nova"
"Groovy Movie"
b/w "The Fog" (from The Many Moods Of Bill Doggett)
Impressions
"The Worm"
b/w "Hot Fudge"
Fingertips
1964 "Fat Back"
b/w "Si Si Cisco"
Non-album tracks
"Night Train" -- Part 1
b/w Part 2
Back Again With More Bill Doggett
"Hey, Big Boy, Hey Hey"
b/w "The Rail" (from Big City Dance Party)
The Best Of Bill Doggett
"That's Enough, Lock 'Em Up"
b/w "Crackers"
"The Kicker"
b/w "Mudcat"
Wow!
"Snuff Box"
b/w "Blood Pressure" (Non-album track)
The Best Of Bill Doggett
1965 "Slidin'"
b/w "Teardrops"
Bonanza Of 24 Songs
1967 "Sapphire"
b/w "Ko-Ko"
Honky Tonk A-La Mod!
"Lovin' Mood"
b/w "The Funky Whistler"
Non-album tracks
1969 "Twenty-Five Miles"
b/w "For Once In My Life" (Non-album track)
Honky Tonk Popcorn
"Honky Tonk Popcorn"
b/w "Honky Tonk"
1970 "The Nearness Of You"
"Moondust"
The Nearness Of You
1971 "Eventide"
b/w "In A Sentimental Mood"
Sentimental Mood

10" LPs[edit]

  • Bill Doggett: His Organ And Combo, Volume 1 King 295-82 (1954)
  • Bill Doggett: His Organ And Combo, Volume 2 King 295-83 (1954)
  • All Time Christmas Favorites King 295-89 (1954)
  • Sentimentally Yours King 295-102 (1955)

12" LPs[edit]

  • Moon Dust King 395-502 (1956)
  • Hot Doggett King 395-514 (1956)
  • As You Desire Me King 395-523 (1956)
  • Everybody Dance The Honky Tonk King 395-531 (1956)
  • Dame Dreaming With Bill Doggett King 395-532 (1957)
  • A Salute To Ellington King 533 (1957)
  • The Doggett Beat For Dancing Feet King 557 (1957)
  • Candle Glow King 563 (1958)
  • Swingin' Easy King 582 (1958)
  • Dance Awhile With Doggett King 585 (1958)
  • 12 Songs Of Christmas [reissue of King 295-89 plus 6 additional tracks] King 600 (1958)
  • Hold It! King 609 (1959)
  • High And Wide King 633 (1959)
  • Big City Dance Party King 641 (1959)
  • Bill Doggett On Tour [this is NOT a live album] King 667 (1959)
  • For Reminiscent Lovers, Romantic Songs By Bill Doggett King 706 (1960)
  • Back With More Bill Doggett King 723 (1960)
  • The Many Moods Of Bill Doggett King 778 (1962)
  • Bill Doggett Plays American Songs, Bossa Nova Style King 830 (1963)
  • Impressions King 868 (1963)
  • The Best Of Bill Doggett [compilation] King 908 (1964)
  • Bonanza Of 24 Songs [compilation] King 959 (1966)
  • Take Your Shot King 1041 (1969)
  • Honky Tonk Popcorn King 1078 (1970)
  • The Nearness Of You King 1097 (1970)
  • Ram-Bunk-Shush [compilation] King 1101 (1970)
  • Sentimental Mood [compilation] King 1104 (1970)
  • Soft [compilation] King 1108 (1970)
  • 14 Original Greatest Hits [compilation; reissued as 'All His Hits'] King-Starday 5009 (1977)
  • Charles Brown: PLEASE COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS [this vocal album includes 4 instrumental tracks by Bill Doggett] King-Starday 5019 (1978)

12" LPs issued by other labels[edit]

  • 3,046 People Danced 'Til 4 A.M. To Bill Doggett [this is a live album] Warner Bros. WS-1404 (1961)
  • The Band With The Beat! Warner Bros. WS-1421 (1961)
  • Bill Doggett Swings Warner Bros. WS-1452 (1962)
  • Rhythm Is My Business (Ella Fitzgerald with Bill Doggett) Verve V6-4056 (1962)
  • Oops! The Swinging Sounds Of Bill Doggett Columbia CL-1814/CS-8614 (1962)
  • Prelude To The Blues Columbia CL-1942/CS-8742 (1962)
  • Finger-Tips Columbia CL-2082/CS-8882 (1963)
  • Wow! ABC-Paramount S-507 (1964)
  • Honky Tonk A-La-Mod! Roulette SR-25330 (1966)
  • Gon' Doggett Charly R&B CRB-1094 (1985) - compilation
  • The Right Choice After Hours/Ichiban 4112 (1991) - note: this is Doggett's last recorded album of original material; also released on CD.

CD releases/compilations of note[edit]

  • The EP Collection See For Miles SEECD-689 (1999)
  • Honky Tonk: The Very Best Of Bill Doggett Collectables 2876 (2004)
  • The Chronological Bill Doggett 1952-1953 Classics (Blues & Rhythm Series) 5097 (2004)
  • The Chronological Bill Doggett 1954 Classics (Blues & Rhythm Series) 5175 (2006)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1996 - 1997". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 81. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 31. CN 5585. 

External links[edit]